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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Slaughter Introduces Legislation To Bolster Title IX, Gender Equity In Education

September 27, 2017
Press Release
Legislation would strengthen this landmark law as the Trump administration works to undermine its intent

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) has introduced the Patsy Mink Gender Equity in Education Act to provide more resources for schools, school districts, states, and institutions of higher education to fully implement Title IX. This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender sex in federally funded educational programs and activities. The legislation is being introduced at a time when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has rescinded Title IX guidance on sexual assault, which undermines the intent of the law and could make victims of harassment and assault more reluctant to come forward. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) has introduced a companion bill in the United States Senate.  

“It is outrageous that Secretary DeVos is trying to weaken federal policies that enforce Title IX, which bans discrimination on the basis of sex in publicly-funded research and education. As we mark the 45th anniversary of the passage of this law, the Trump administration shouldn’t be trying to take us back to another century. We need to strengthen Title IX, and that’s precisely what this bill would do while targeting resources where they are needed the most. This is a step Congress can and should take to open the doors of opportunity even wider for women and girls nationwide,” said Slaughter.  

"It is increasingly evident that broadening participation in STEM increases scientific creativity and accomplishment with, as a result, everyone benefiting. The Patsy Mink Gender Equity in Education Act provides important resources and funding that can level the playing field and, in particular, support those that face multiple forms of bias and discrimination. Establishing an Office for Gender Equity within the Department of Education and directing it to address ‘compound discriminations’ that involve more than one characteristic will go a long way toward ensuring fair and equal treatment for all. I commend Representative Slaughter for her continued leadership in this area,” said Scott Franklin, Director of the Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning and Evaluation at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

“Patsy Mink Gender Equity in Education Act being proposed by Congresswoman Slaughter and Senator Hirono strengthens the original intentions of Title IX. It is clear that in today's environment for young women, addressing gender disparity has become even more critical, and we stand with them. The American Association of University Women of New York State understands that this bill provides the substantive resources needed to insure Title IX serves its original purpose – to promote gender equity in education,” said Cynthia Herriott Sullivan, vice president of public policy at the Greater Rochester Area Branch of the American Association of University Women.

The Patsy Mink Gender Equity in Education Act would provide resources, training, and technical assistance to fully implement Title IX and reduce and prevent sex discrimination in all areas of education, including:

  • Establishing an Office of Gender Equity in the U.S. Department of Education to coordinate activities within the Department and among other federal agencies
  • Combating discrimination, harassment, bias, and violence based on sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions
  • Supporting Title IX coordinators with annual training
  • Providing competitive grants to K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, local educational agencies, or states as the primary applicants, with the option to partner with organizations with relevant expertise
  • Including evaluation and assessment of how applicants improve on indicators of gender equity
  • Disseminating resources and best practices nationwide

More than a dozen organizations, including the American Association of University Women, the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education, and the National Organization for Women support the bill. The legislation is named in honor of Congresswoman Patsy Mink, who spent much of her career fighting against gender discrimination and was one of the principle authors of the legislation enacting Title IX.

As the only microbiologist in Congress, Congresswoman Slaughter has long been a prominent voice for eliminating gender biases and promoting the work of women in the sciences. In 2013, she pushed the GAO to audit six federal agencies in which Yale researchers found evidence of gender discrimination.

Last year, Congresswoman Slaughter celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the National Office of Research on Women’s Health, an office she helped establish after discovering the disconcerting lack of research on women’s health issues at NIH. Rep. Slaughter also allocated the first $500 million in federal funding for breast cancer research at the NIH. In 2013, Congresswoman Slaughter was awarded the “Champion of Science” award by the Science Coalition in honor of her strong commitment to supporting basic scientific research. She was also honored with the “Foremother Award” by the National Center for Health Research in recognition of her central role in taking on the central health and science issues of our time.

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